bildge pump primeing

Discussion in 'Boating' started by great pappy cat, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. great pappy cat

    great pappy cat Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    P.A
    I got my livewells completed and now the pump quit working . It sounds like it works, just doesnt pump water. A freind has the same mayfair pump and said to try primeing it. Are you kidding me:confused2:. Its buried under my batterys and sub floor and everything else. Its a major paine to get to.:sad2: Just wondering if anyone knew of an easier way to prime it?
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I would think the bilge pump pumps the water up a hose and empties it at a point on the hull. Simply pour water down the hose and it should prime the pump.
     

  3. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    i've never had to prime my bilge pump, ya might want to check and make sure it's not jammed with something, if ya hear it hummiing but its not pumping that just might be the problem, might just be a small stick or hook or sinker stuck
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I think you are talking about a livewell pump not a bilge pump.
    Most aren't really powerful pumps. If you got too much head on it one side or the other it wont work.

    At any rate if the pump does work but you have to prime it everytime you use it your installation is screwed up in the plumbing.

    First thing I would check while the boat is in the water is if water is making it to the pump. If not, you got to put the pump where water feeds the pump by gravity. Water should flow to the pump even if the pump is turned off.
    In other words most pumps (the cheap ones) have to be mounted below the waterline as well as the piping on the supply side.
    This sounds like where your problem is to me.

    It would be a good time to install a shutoff valve right where that supply line enters the hull if you haven't already otherwise a cracked or broken hose will sink the boat pump running or not. Atleast you could shut off the flow were a hose to go down.
     
  5. great pappy cat

    great pappy cat Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    P.A
    Thank you all for the replys. It is a 750 GPH mayfair livewell pump. Its mounted through the hull in the bottom of the transome with a stainless steel screen screwed on. The PO of my boat already had a shutoff on it . I also added another. The pump worked fine the 1st time I used it:crazy: 2nd time sounds the same but its not pumping water?:confused2: It is leaning to one side a little. I had to to clear the floor. Is that what I did wrong?
     
  6. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    Would a one way check valve help solve his problem ?.....Like in a well pump installation ?
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You may have a piece of trash in the pump itself or in one of the lines.


    On the check valve. Those pumps really don't "pull" and most any check valve I've seen has a spring in it. Pretty stiff spring.
    But even if it would work I wouldn't recomend it for one reason alone.
    Freezing.
    You got all that piping buried below the sole that doesn't self drain.
    Come winter it freezes. Come spring you take the boat out and sink.:smile2:

    You have to start getting into washdown sized pumps before you start getting into the self priming pumps. They are more akin to your home water pump and the pressures they can develope. Even then they won't self prime very far. Some better then others. Like anything else money buys better.
     
  8. great pappy cat

    great pappy cat Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    P.A
    I just removed a flo jet wash down pump. It was huge and expensive to replace ($200 plus). Not to mention the amps it drew. What a power hog. The PO of my boat installed it. That thing didnt last 2 months. Thanks again for the input... My freind says his live well pump does it 2 times outa 10. Ill half to find an easier way but for now hes confident he knows how to make it work again??:confused2:. Now my bildge pump switch quit working. Probably a Fuse? ... I hope. Then, I had a weld repair split on me last weekend. The boat doesnt take on water... but still :sad2: If its not 1 thing its another.
     
  9. seaark ryan

    seaark ryan New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    Kansas
    It sounds strange but I have done this on two boats and four diff Mayfair pumps and it works. Try rotating them to where the hose output on the pump gose straight up. This also helps to keep water from pooling in the hose and freezing in the winter. Somthing else you can try before pulling you boat apart is to flip your pump on when reversing your boat. This helps when they wont prime.
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Welcome to owning a boat.:smile2:
     
  11. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    .
    But even if it would work I wouldn't recomend it for one reason alone.
    Freezing.
    You got all that piping buried below the sole that doesn't self drain.
    Come winter it freezes. Come spring you take the boat out and sink.:smile2:

    Thank you, MARK J. for reminding me of that:eek:oooh:, After being in FL for so many years, it has slipped my mind:embarassed:
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    It's a great idea in theory and I've thought the same myself.
    I think I could live with all the water and the climate in south Florida.
     
  13. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    I have the same problem ,,,the pump motor runs, but dosent pump,if I turn it off then right back on , it always pumps